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BMW 5-Series common problems (2010-2017)

BMW 5-Series

If there was a long-service award for cars, the BMW 5-Series would be a candidate, because it’s been on sale in one form another since 1972.

Here, we focus on the sixth-generation car, also known by the codename F10 (or F11 for the estate and F07 for Gran Turismo versions).

It’s certainly a high-tech choice for those who want to experience the executive motoring lifestyle, but there’s still plenty that the home mechanic can sort quite easily. And what better way to enhance your BMW motoring experience than by repairing your 5-Series yourself and avoiding BMW labour rates?

That’s where Haynes Autofix is your online friend – with it, we can help to show you how to fix common issues using our photographic procedures and video tutorials, and you can even service the car yourself.

BMW 5-Series

What recalls has the BMW 5-Series been subject to?

BMW has had cause to recall the 5-Series to dealers on a few occasions.

One such recall affected more than 220,000 examples and was caused by a possible leak in the EGR cooler, which could then cause a fire.

An airbag fault in which the curtain airbag could fail to deploy due to degraded propellant prompted another recall to dealerships.

A dodgy propshaft universal joint caused 10,989 cars to be recalled, then another recall was brought about by a front passenger airbag that might not deploy correctly in an accident. Less than ideal.

Front airbags caused another recall, and then faulty screws in the VANOS variable-valve-timing unit prompted almost 3000 to be dragged to dealers.

And finally, 13 cars were recalled because a software issue could mean that the towing hitch would suddenly become detached.

What common problems does the BMW 5-Series Mk6 have?

Unfortunately, the BMW 5-Series Mk6 can develop a ticking noise from either of the front wheels, and this happens despite the driver not pressing the brake pedal.

You don’t expect your BMW 5-Series to leak, but some owners have reported that the front passenger-side footwell of their cars can become wet, soaking the carpet.

The 5-Series is known for being silky smooth as you drive along, so a grinding noise from the engine is going to ruin anyone’s day. First thing to check? The timing gear.

And it would be a shame if the Ultimate Driving Machine didn’t drive like it says on the tin, but that’s what happens to some examples, because they develop problems with their steering.

Finally, pressing the button to start up your BMW, and finding that it turns over but won’t fire up, is going to cast a shadow over anyone’s day.

BMW 5-Series

Does the BMW 5-Series have ticking problems?

Yes, the BMW 5-Series F10 usually runs like clockwork, but nevertheless a sudden regular ticking noise is going to irritate. Especially when you suss out that it isn’t being generated by a stone caught in the tread of your tyre.

The problem is actually a brake issue, and is caused by there being insufficient clearance between the back of the brake disc and the wheel-bearing flange. This means that they brush together each and every time the disc rotates with the wheel.

However, there is a fix, and it’s quite an easy one. All you need do is remove the wheels, then remove the brake discs before fitting a small washer (part number 34 10 6 884 837) between the two components. After that, it’s wise to give the brake discs a good clean then refit them to the vehicle.

It’s a pretty straightforward task that is covered in your Haynes 5-Series Autofix. And afterwards all will be serene once more.

BMW 5-Series

Does the BMW 5-Series F10 have leaking problems?

Getting into your BMW 5-Series Mk6 and getting a noseful of a musty odour is going to annoy, especially if you’re shortly due to pick up passengers. Worse still is someone getting into the front passenger seat, putting their feet down to the ominous sound of a squelch. Not good, because not only do you need to need to dry out the stuff that’s already there, but you also have to work out where the water’s coming from.

And that’s where we can help, because a common problem with the BMW 5-Series is a leak between the blower motor housing and the blower cover.

So, you’ll need to remove the housing from the car, and tighten the screws connecting the two parts. We can show you how to get to it with your Haynes 5-Series Autofix. And after that, you’ll have to dry out the footwell carpet, or perhaps even replace it.

BMW 5-Series

Does the BMW 5-Series Mk6 have timing chain problems?

If there’s something you don’t want to hear when you start up your BMW 5-Series, it’s a grinding noise. Grinding noises usually happen when two things that shouldn’t be start rubbing together, and the results can be a big bill where the engine is concerned.

In this case the engine timing chain guide rails, tensioner and tensioner rail are the source of the untoward noise, so sorting it is something not to be delayed.

If your car is showing fewer than 50,000 miles, then you’re going to have to replace the upper chain tensioner, the timing chain lower guide rails and the guide sleeves. However, if it’s done more than 50k you’ll also need to replace the upper and lower timing chains, the upper and lower guide rails, and the high-pressure pump cog.

There’s no denying that it’s a fairly sizeable undertaking, but the Haynes 5-Series Autofix will be there to guide along the way.

BMW 5-Series

Does the BMW 5-Series have steering problems?

Any problem with the steering on your BMW 5-Series is going to feel disconcerting, and a weird noise from the steering system is only going to make that feeling worse.

This problem is caused by air being allowed into the power steering system, and the usual cause is a faulty power steering pump. However, the good news is that this is a comparatively easy part to replace, and you can follow the handy hints and tips in your Haynes 5-Series Autofix to help you along the way.

After you’ve replaced the pump, you’ll need to fill up the power steering system and bleed the air out of it, which the Autofix can also help you with.

BMW 5-Series

Does the BMW 5-Series have starting problems?

The BMW 5-Series Mk6 can develop a fault that allows the engine to turn over but not to actually fire up. Irritating at best.

The thing is not to keep turning over the engine, because all you’ll do is either burn out the starter motor or flatten the battery. The problem lies with the fuel pump control unit, and it can’t be repaired, only replaced.

So, you’ll need to invest in a replacement item (part number 16 14 7 276 073), and then consult your Haynes 5-Series Autofix on how to go about replacing it. Simply take the task step by step and you’ll soon be starting up and driving off.